Posted on May 27, 2016
20 Questions with Duane Storey
20 Questions with Duane Storey
I’ve known Duane for at least a decade, and he was one of the first true local Vancouver bloggers I met in the mid-2000s. He is one of those people who is balanced through life experience in his extensive travels, but also someone who has applied himself academically and achieved a great deal in his work as an engineer and entrepreneur. After all, it was Duane who is ultimately to thank for “constructing” my friendship with Rebecca and putting she and I in touch with each other. Duane is my friend but he’s also a son, brother, uncle, traveller, cocktail shaker, photographer, guitar player, web developer, and blogger.
1. What are you really excited about these days?
Despite the fact that I spent three years traveling around the world, I still get excited every time I step onto a plane. Not for the actual flying itself, because I hate flying, but because I get the opportunity to visit new places and also explore some different facets of myself. I feel like a totally different person when I’m out exploring a new country or sitting at a hostel bar talking to a new friend over some drinks, and I find that exciting.
2. What was the last picture you took on your phone?
It’s a photo of a pond up near Cultus Lake where I live. There are lots of mountains, trees, and rivers around my place so there is no shortage of things to take photos of.
3. Making yourself accessible through social media and blogging opens the door to admiration but also criticism. How do you handle criticism?
I’m one of those people that tends to wear my heart on my sleeve, and that aspect of my personality, I think, carries over into my writing. But putting yourself out there like that definitely makes you more open to criticism and judgement I think, because it feels like they aren’t just critiquing what you are saying, but criticizing you personally as well. I mostly try to brush it off, but I’m not completely immune to being rattled by the occasional email or tweet.
I remember one individual in particular who kept sending me emails saying I was basically an idiot and didn’t know how to run my business, etc. I actually lost a lot of sleep over that guy, even though I knew I should just brush it off and move on. Sometimes I wish I had thicker skin, but I think that would make me less like the person I want to be.
4. What is your bottom line, number one, golden rule when it comes to blogging?
Be authentic and genuine. That’s true not only in blogging, but in life too. Most people can smell bullshit a mile away these days, and I believe most of the successes I have had in life (and some of my most memorable blog articles) have been because of those two attributes.
5. Everyone has a spirit animal. What’s yours and why?
Probably a pug. They like to have fun and don’t particularly like running, just like me.
6. The Breakfast Club featured a rebel, a princess, a brainiac, an outcast, and a jock. Who were you in high school?
That’s hard! I was probably a blend of the brainiac and the outcast. I had a small group of friends, but none of us were really part of the ‘cool’ crowd. So I spent most of high school being an outcast I guess. But at some point one of the prettiest, most popular girls in our school ended up befriending me. People, I think at that point, looked at me a bit differently because she would often ditch the cool jocks to hang out with me.
7. If I gave you $50,000 to start a business, what would you start?
I saw an advertisement recently for a fully working, equipped food truck for $30,000. I think if I was going to be doing something else, I would probably buy that and drive around cooking food for people. I’ve always loved cooking, and I think it would be a lot of fun to operate a food truck. I would probably focus on Mexican cuisine as it’s one of my favourite food groups!
8. What’s your all-time favourite jam from the ‘80s or ‘90s?
I always liked that song “Two Princes” by the Spin Doctors. When it came out I used to listen to it on repeat for some reason, although I haven’t heard it in a very long time.
9. Blogging can ebb and flow for a lot of people. Where do you see your blog in 2021?
I think the blogging sphere has actually deteriorated quite a bit in the last few years. There are still some very great blogs run by some really amazing writers, but they seem to be the exception rather than the rule these days. So I’m not sure what the scene will look like in 2021. I would still hope I am writing and contributing somehow, but I am not entirely sure it will be on my website or just exclusively via social media.
10. If I was a highly skilled bartender, what drink would you ask me to make for you right now?
A dry martini.
11. It’s now 2:00 a.m. and I’ve made you half a dozen of those drinks. Where are you going for your greasy food fix?
I absolutely love poutine, although I don’t eat it very often for obvious reasons. But I would probably head down to Fritz in Vancouver and get some poutine, assuming it’s still around.
12. In Chilliwack, what’s the one restaurant that no one has heard of but everyone should eat at?
There unfortunately aren’t too many memorable restaurants here. My favourite though is a place called Bravo, downtown, which is actually quite exceptional – it has a nice ambiance and some really amazing food on the menu.
13. What’s the biggest misconception people have about you in real life?
Strangely people seem to think that I’m permanently on vacation, probably because of all of the travel photos I post. But the truth is I co-founded a software company, and I work fairly normal full-time hours, even when I’m visiting other countries.
14. If you could star as any character in the remake of any movie, which famous role would you reprise?
I think it would be pretty cool to fly some fighter jets, so maybe I could be Maverick in Top Gun if they ever remake that. And yes Keira, you can be my wingman anytime.
15. If you could learn a new skill, language, or hobby, what would it be?
I have a basic understanding of Spanish, and can get by in most Spanish-speaking countries. But I would love to finish learning the language so I could be mostly conversational. I would also like to take some culinary classes at some point.
16. Who are you most proud of?
I am proud of a lot of people, but most recently it would have to be my friend Shannon. She’s been working like six or seven days a week, probably for almost a year, trying to save money for school so she can start a new career. All of that hard work and self-sacrifice has paid off and she’s about to begin an exciting new chapter of her life. I have a lot of admiration and respect for her and people like her – people who set big goals for themselves and then work hard to achieve them.
17. Who is (or was) the single most influential person in your life?
Probably my grandmother – my baba – who passed away last year. When my parents divorced I believe I was seven-years-old, and after that I spent a great deal of my childhood growing up around my grandmother. We would watch soap operas together and she would make me perogies all the time. She was such an amazingly beautiful person, with an infectious laugh and a super sharp wit. I would say there are some very noticeable aspects of my personality that I have because of her, and I’m happy for that.
18. I’m throwing a dinner party next weekend. You’re invited and can bring three others with you (dead or alive). Who should I set the table for?
Bill Murray, Stephen Fry, and Rebecca Bollwitt.
19. What’s the one question you wish someone would ask you?
I’m going on a trip to some cool, far away destination. Want to come?
20. I’m going on a trip to some cool, far away destination. Want to come?
You had me at “hello.”
All photos courtesy of Duane Storey.